Skipper Steve

“There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” -Ratty said to Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s beloved 1908 classic, The Wind in the Willows.


White water canoeing as a kid

“Scouter” Steve started messing about in boats at a relatively young age, canoeing with his scout troop, or on family canoe vacations in spectacular Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.

As a 15 year-old he started messing about in bigger boats, spending a summer aboard the brigantine, St. Lawrence II, out of Kingston, Ontario, where he earned the nickname Seasick Steve, spending most of his time wrapped around the mast or feeding the fishes. Undaunted, he took on white water canoeing and built his own fibreglass canoe. But, like Toad of Toad Hall, he became enamoured for a while with other modes of transportation ….he earned enough extra money fighting forest fires during university breaks to buy a motorbike when he was an undergraduate, and biked across Canada in stages, from one coast to the other.

He learned to fly and got his private pilot’s license as soon as he graduated. He bought a share in 2 planes when he secured his first job at Proctor & Gamble and blew off excess energy getting his jeep CJ5 stuck in bogs in Northern Alberta where he lived for 8 years. He married Liz and traded in his toys (motorbike, airplane and jeep) one by one, for three kids, Nick, Matthew and Tim. Not ready to give up, he started a penny jar for a family cabin cruiser, but after several years, traded it in for a beautiful Swift canoe and took the family out camping, canoeing and hiking. The family moved to Doha in the Middle East for a few years in the ‘90’s and Steve followed son Matthew’s lead by taking sailing lessons in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, falling in love with the “salt sea and the spray”. Back in Ontario he continued his “White Sails” certification and dinghy sailing/racing, before wearing Liz down into agreeing to take basic keelboat sailing lessons. More classes, experience, charters and a year or two passed by and Skipper Steve was now a keelboat instructor….and so began the seven year plan!